Maggie came into the program after being homeless under a bridge in Portland. She was not a Christian and the people she had known that were Christians were not good examples of what walking in freedom looked like. Maggie’s biggest struggle was to believe that God was real as well as a personal God that cared for her. She had a difficult childhood and was in and out of foster homes. Abandoned and rejected by her own parents she struggled with the feeling of, “am I worthy of love?” The love she had known was selfish, always taking from her or using and abusing her. Our first opportunity came when she had some needs. We taught her to pray specifically over the needs and to not tell anyone but God. She did and that week she received a package with the very things that she had prayed for from a sponsor. She cried the biggest tears, because it was in that moment that she encountered a personal God who loved her and cared enough to meet her needs and then some. From that point on her love for Jesus flourished and she was a shining light for all the women around her. Maggie has overcome some big things this year but is leaving with a sense of who she is now, a daughter in Christ, set free from addiction. She knows that temptations will be there, but she has learned to submit to God, resist the enemy and he will flee. She understands that she needs accountability, transparency and honesty to have a solid foundation and that she cannot do this alone. This is why she decided to continue her freedom journey at Absolute Ministries. Here she will get a full time job, become planted in a church, be assigned a mentor and build on the foundation she received at PNW Adult & Teen Challenge . We are so proud of your process Maggie and that we had the opportunity to walk with you through the first year of your new life with Jesus! She has been adopted into God’s family. A place where she will always find purpose, significance, hope and strength in His love. Congratulations Maggie, from all of the Graham Staff.
Central Oregon Campus
Stay Sharps are a fun and interactive opportunity in which we bring a message of hope as we look to impact our community. We have presented all over Central Oregon, during the Mental Health Awareness Week, in High School assemblies, and even speaking to specific generational issues like Juul/Vaping. Our goal each time is to make a positive impact in at least one students’ life. Turns out we’ve impacted many. Our campus has received scores of encouragement and thank you letters from the students in these classes. Most recently in the semester and trimester reviews the classes we visited said that our presentation was their favorite day of that class. This same week a Central Oregon Campus staff member swung by a Dutch Bros and the Barista recognized and then thanked us for sharing in her class when she was in high school. Pray that we continue to make an impact in the lives of the future generations, encouraging them to pursue their goals while avoiding substance use. We are excited for the change happening in the young community of Central Oregon.
March 22nd we celebrated with Ryan & Brandon as they completed the program! It was a powerful time of worship, fellowship and testimony.
Ryan has enrolled in YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Hawaii and will begin leadership and ministry training this July. Brandon enrolled in Teen Challenge Ministry Institute and is now serving as an intern at our campus as of April 1st. These men are the evidence of God working miracles today and His power to transform lives. God has worked mightily in and through them and we are excited for the next chapter of growth He has for them.
Focus on Outreach
We have placed an emphasis on outreach during the 1st quarter of 2019. Many areas of need and opportunity have presented themselves and we are answering the call to put hope within reach inside and outside the walls of our residential center.
Some of the activities we have been working on include:
- Beginning a bi-weekly bible study in Benton & Franklin County jails
- Itineration services at local churches in Eastern Washington
- Representing the Ministry at the 2019 Global Impact Celebration with missionaries from around the world
- Partnering monthly with Soul Soup to serve hot meals and encourage the homeless and under served individuals in our community
- Drug Prevention Awareness presentations in local schools
Willamette Valley Campus
On April 6 the Willamette Valley Campus hosted the Willamette Community Church monthly Men’s Breakfast. Over 80 participants listened as guest speaker Mike See brought a message of God’s hope and love to our students and staff. Mike is one of many volunteers we are blessed to have at our Willamette Valley Campus . Afterwards we had the pleasure of giving tours to new visitors that showed up for breakfast and fellowship. We hope to continue our growth of networking with local volunteers that wish to partner with our Ministry as we seek to put Hope Within Reach.
Tri-Cities Jail Outreach
Many of the women we see inside the jails are not able to leave their families for a year to attend our regional residential programs. They face alternative sentencing for long jail/prison sentences or have been told they will lose their children if they have an extended absence. As part of our outreach, we help women connect to local agencies who can help them address multiple issues and provide support services in practical ways. After we attended a local Drug Court graduation last week, several women approached us with their thanks for caring about them. They shared how concepts they heard from us in the jail had helped them handle situations back in the community. Some have continued with our Bible studies and some have ventured into churches and faith based recovery groups for the first time. We are thankful for the opportunity to Put Hope Within Reach of women in recovery that extends back into their neighborhoods and touches the lives of their friends and families as well.